Today in context, October 28, 2020

October Is National Book Month

To help you celebrate by reading, we’ve listed some of the previous National Book Award winners below.
The Women of Brewster Place
The novel by Gloria Naylor chronicles the communal strength of seven diverse Black women who live in decaying rented houses on a walled-off street of an urban neighborhood.
War Trash
The fictional memoir by Chinese-American writer Ha Jin recounts the struggles of a Chinese soldier in a prisoner-of-war camp during the Korean War. Jin previously won the National Book Award for Waiting (2000).
Invisible Man
This groundbreaking work by Ralph Ellison is told by a man who is never named but believes he is “invisible” to others socially. He faces adversity and discrimination throughout his move from the South to college and then to New York City.
Just Kids
Poet and musician Patti Smith’s memoir focused on her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Looking for more ideas?
Check out our full lists of National Book Award winners in each category since 1950, when the award began.

The Arch as Monument

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, designed by architect Eero Saarinen, was completed on October 28, 1965. One of the most iconic monuments in the U.S., the 630-foot-tall structure takes its name from the city’s role as the “Gateway to the West” during the westward expansion in the 19th century. Although the Gateway Arch, with its elegant catenary shape, feels modern, the concept of the monumental arch goes back thousands of years. It is especially associated with ancient Rome, where triumphal arches were constructed as isolated structures, having no connection with city gates or city walls, to serve as honorary monuments.
A Monument to Westward Expansion
article / Geography & Travel
© Davel5957—E+/Getty Images
The Triumphal Arch
article / Technology
© Jeff Banke/Shutterstock.com
Other Memorials and Monuments in the United States
List / Geography & Travel
© Mark Edward Harris—Stockbyte/Getty Images

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African Americans demonstrating for voting rights in front of the White House as police and others watch, March 12, 1965. One sign reads, "We demand the right to vote everywhere." Voting Rights Act, civil rights.
Voter Suppression

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